Politics

Brexit Britain set for ’50 years’ of non-stop negotiations with EU to improve current deal

Brexit: Britain will be in ‘non-stop negotiations with EU’ says expert

Charles Grant, Director of the Centre for European Reform, fears the UK still has five key areas that will determine the future relationship between the country and the European Union. Mr Grant looked at European countries outside the EU, like Switzerland, who have been in a constant negotiation limbo with the bloc since the mid-seventies. The political expert forecast Brexit Britain may soon be entering a similar situation and face as much as 50 years of additional talks with Brussels.

Speaking to Ian Mulheirn of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Mr Grant said: “Nothing is really fixed, Britain is out of the EU for a generation and that’s fixed but the future is open to all sorts for questions. 

“I think we’re going to be in non-stop negotiations for at least 50 years with the EU as the Swiss will tell you who started in the mid-seventies and have never stopped negotiating with the EU.

“I think five key questions will determine the nature of the future relationship.

“The first is will the UK diverge or not, it’s won this wonderful freedom to diverge but will it want to exercise that freedom.

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“My suspicion is at a symbolic level, it will seem to diverge, but in practice, it won’t diverge a lot but I may be wrong on that.

“Secondly will it try to improve on the terms of the deal but I hope so as it’s a pretty rough deal as the musicians have discovered this week and fisherman have discovered last week.”

UK musicians have criticised Brexit as current arrangements hampers their ability to tour across Europe. 

Additional negotiations with the European Union have already been scheduled, especially in regards to the future of financial services.

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The UK and the EU are hoping there will be a “memorandum of understanding” in place by the end of March.

The new deal will seek to ensure the two sides continue to have similar regulations going forward that mean similar standards are upheld both in Britain and on the continent.

More talks are also expected to take place in regards to the protocol currently in place across Northern Ireland which has already been criticised for the divergence created between UK nations.

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Goods entering Northern Ireland are still subject to EU customs rules as part of the Brexit agreement. 

And the new negotiations come as relations between the EU and UK made a downward turn over the subject of vaccination supply. 

The EU has threatened to ban companies producing the vaccine from exporting doses outside the bloc as they have not seen adequate “returns” on their investments. 

This means supplies of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs used in the UK could be disrupted as some are developed in mainland Europe. 

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